The Glazers reportedly blocked the club from signing Cody Gakpo despite Erik ten Hag being keen on bringing the Netherlands international to Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old had been expected to seal a move to Old Trafford in the new year as United look to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. However, the talented PSV forward is heading to north west rivals Liverpool instead after they agreed a deal with the Dutch club.
The Red Devils were considered strong favourites to land Ten Hag’s fellow countryman after the Old Trafford chief made it clear to the club that he wanted the Netherlands international on board.
However, PSV released a statement on Boxing Day evening saying they had agreed a deal with Liverpool instead.
Gakpo has emerged as one of the most sought-after transfers in Europe due to his form for club and country.
Prior to the World Cup, he’d scored nine goals and chalked up 12 assists from 14 Eredivisie matches.
He then notched three times in Qatar as the Netherlands eventually lost to Argentina in the quarter-finals.
Since then there have been reports that Gakpo was never actually a United target and that they actually want a more central striker to replace Ronaldo.
That certainly makes sense, given that Gakpo is not a like-for-like replacement for the Portuguese legend.
And now, according to The Sun, it’s emerged that the Glazers blocked United from signing Gakpo – despite Ten Hag pushing for the board to make funds available for his signing.
The Red Devils came close to signing the PSV man last summer before eventually opting for Antony instead.
United put Gakpo deal on ice
The report adds that United felt they could keep a deal for Gakpo ‘on ice’. Having already held talks with the Dutch club and his representatives about a potential switch.
Indeed, Gakpo admitted three months ago that he had been keen on a move to Old Trafford, saying: “Manchester United had reported at the beginning of the transfer window. We were waiting for that a bit.
“The signals became more and more positive and at a certain point I thought it might fall in that direction.
“That option faded a bit and completely last week. We worked the whole window towards it. Until last week I thought I would go to Manchester United.”
However, United’s tactic of thinking that Gakpo and PSV would just wait for them to pick up the phone again failed miserably as Liverpool jumped in.
And now it’s reported that the Glazers, who are still looking to sell the club, will only sanction loan moves.
That leaves Ten Hag having to convince a new striker to only join the club on a temporary basis.
Speaking after Tuesday night’s cruise against Nottingham Forest, the Dutchman admitted that a striker signing could still happen.
He said: “We are looking for offensive players, looking for a striker. That would be good because we have so many games coming.
“We want to keep playing in all the competitions we are in. We want to keep going to the end of the season so you need numbers to keep competing.”
Atletico Madrid duo Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann continue to be potential options. However, it’s unclear whether the financially-strapped Spanish outfit will be happy to accept loan offers.
READ MORE: Man Utd could break transfer record in contingency plan after missing out on Gakpo transfer to Liverpool
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